Winter Proposal Leads to Summertime Wedding Bells for Cork Couple
A heartwarming winter proposal during the pandemic lockdown has led to a beautiful summertime wedding for Laura O’Keeffe and Colin Lyons, a couple from Cork. The pair exchanged vows in the Honan Chapel at University College Cork (UCC) in May, just a stone’s throw away from Laura’s family home on McCurtains Villas, College Road. The wedding was a joyous celebration of love and resilience during these challenging times.
The story of how Laura and Colin met is a subject of ongoing debate among their friends and family. According to Laura, a few people take credit for setting them up. She initially met Colin’s brother Eoin while working together at SuperValu in Togher, and they started attending Colin’s football matches together. Colin has been playing senior football for St Finbarr’s for the past 19 years. Laura jokingly claims that she chased Colin, and their love story began from there. (Colin is still actively playing football and is set to participate in the county semi-final against Castlehaven this Sunday.)
After being together for 13 years, Laura and Colin got engaged on Christmas Eve 2021 during the lockdown at their home in Ballincollig. They have a three-year-old daughter named Katie, who was present for the special moment. Colin had decorated the house with the help of his sister Niamh and surprised Laura with a heartfelt proposal. He had even asked Laura’s father for permission beforehand, which made him more nervous than the actual proposal itself.
The couple received immense support from their families while planning and celebrating their big day. Father-of-the-bride John O’Keeffe and the groom’s parents Betty and Des Lyons played significant roles in making the wedding a memorable event. They also paid tribute to Laura’s late mother, Catherine O’Keeffe, during the ceremony by lighting a candle in her memory.
Following the wedding ceremony conducted by Fr James O’Donovan, Laura and Colin headed to Dunmore House Hotel in Clonakilty, West Cork, for their sun-soaked reception. The couple fell in love with the venue due to its stunning views of the ocean. Laura’s sister Kim O’Keeffe flew in from Sydney to be the maid of honor, while their cousin Danielle Long and Laura’s friend Gillian Kerrigan served as bridesmaids. Gillian and Laura have been best friends since their school days at St Maries of the Isle.
Colin’s brothers Brian and Eoin Lyons took on the roles of joint-best men, and his friend Ross O’Dwyer was the groomsman. The couple’s daughter Katie and bridesmaid Danielle’s daughter Maya, both three years old, were the adorable flower girls. Colin’s godson and nephew Ollie Lyons served as the pageboy, and his nephews Rónán and Liam Lyons were ushers. Having their daughter Katie with them on their special day brought immense joy to Laura and Colin.
To add a touch of nostalgia and personal significance to the reception, Laura and Colin had the Attridge Academy of Irish Dance, Laura’s former dance group, perform. Laura and her sister Kim even joined them for a special performance that was loved by all the guests. The couple hired Seán Lordan of Studio Lordan as their photographer and Greg of DGVideo as their videographer to capture the precious moments of their wedding day.
Laura looked stunning in an Enzoani gown sourced from Diamond Bridal Cork. She expressed her gratitude to Grace Penney of Diamond Bridal for her helpfulness and patience throughout the process. The bridal makeup was flawlessly done by Nikki O’Leary, also known as The Makeup Doll, while the hairstyling was taken care of by the talented team from The Salon in Ballincollig. Jill Wilde created beautiful floral arrangements and seaside-themed décor to enhance the ambiance of the wedding.
Colin and his attendants purchased their suits from Red Church in Cork, ensuring that they looked dashing on the big day. After the wedding, the newlyweds and Katie enjoyed a honeymoon in Cala D’or, Majorca. A month later, Laura and Colin embarked on a romantic trip to explore the breathtaking Amalfi coast, visiting Sorrento and Positano.
Laura and Colin’s wedding was a testament to love, resilience, and the power of family. It was a day filled with joy, laughter, and beautiful memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.